An Iranian attempt to launch a satellite into space failed when the missile carrying the satellite exploded shortly after liftoff, completely destroying the satellite.
HIS Janes reported that the accident took place in May, and that Iran's space agency has made great efforts to hide it from the public's knowledge.
The failure is expected to set back Iran's space program considerably.
Western experts said that the mishap shows Iran is facing difficulties in ballistic missile development. Janes revealed that U.S. spy satellites followed the attempted launch, which took place at the space center near Tehran. Black spots were seen covering the area around the launching pad immediately after the accident.
Iranian officials announced that the Safir-1B satellite launch vehicle would be launched on May 23, but subsequently announced that the launch had been delayed for up to 10 months without saying why.